Frangipane fig tarts finished with a little drizzle of honey are a perfect holiday dessert. The crust and filling can be made in advance. The tarts can even be assembled and baked one day ahead and reheated right before serving. Who says fancy has to be complicated?
Instructions for both a dairy and dairy-free version are included in the recipe. Make the crust in advance, line the small tart pans and freeze. That makes baking day a breeze. Also, the frangipane can be made a day or two in advance. And smaller figs are better than larger for these mini tarts.
Use your favorite honey to brush on the finished tarts right before serving and your dessert will perfect.
These mini tart pans (4.75″) are handy to have (removable bottoms) and make any tart dressy in an instant. I have had mine for more than a dozen years and they are still going strong – plus they can go in the dishwasher. Avoid nonstick or dark tart pans because they make the crust brown too much before the tart filling has finished baking. If you are near a Sur La Table (or even online) they sell them for a reasonable price unlike some other specialty kitchen shops (cough cough).
Not all almond paste is created equally. I really like Love ‘N Bake Almond Paste because the flavor is more intense, but Solo Almond Paste is also a good choice and might be easier to find. Some groceries carry one or both.
I like simple Mission Figs for these dessert (the dark figs). Find a package (or two) that seem free of blemishes and are just ripe because those hold up to baking better than squishy figs which are better for eating out of the container. For mini tarts try to find some on the smaller side, or at least of similar size.
Here’s to a sweet and healthy new year – l’shana tova to the Canteen crowd, all ten of you (kidding, sort of).
|Mini Frangipane Fig Tarts|| |
- 300 grams Canteen flour blend (2⅓ cups) (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 182 grams Spectrum Organic Shortening (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) OR 113 grams unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), cold and cubed plus 70 grams (5 tablespoons) Spectrum shortening
- 60-80 grams cold water (or Vodka) (1/4 to ⅓ cup)
- 227 grams or (1) 8 oz. can of GF almond paste (Solo or Love n’ Bake)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons Canteen flour blend (or GF AP flour)
- 4 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed (optional)
- 1 extra large egg
- 1 tablespoon Kirsch (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- (6) 4.75" tart shells
- 390 grams Frangipane (1 ½ cups)
- 12-16 fresh whole figs
- 1 tablespoon honey
- In the bowl of a food processor pulse together flour, sugar and salt until blended. Add shortening or butter and shortening and pulse until mixture looks like coarse uneven crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons cold water at a time and pulse the dough – adding only a tablespoon or two of water at a time- just until the dough comes together in a ragged , shaggy ball. Don’t add any more water even if it looks dry. Open the processor and squeeze dough with your fingers and if it holds together it is perfect. You can always add more water but you can’t take it out. Turn dough onto plastic wrap and bring all the stray pieces together and roll the dough into a log with your fingers. Cut it into 6 even pieces. Wrap and chill the dough pieces at least an hour. Dough can keep refrigerated up to 4 days and frozen for a month.
- Let dough almost come to room temperature – it should be chilled but not hard. Roll each dough ball between sheets of plastic wrap and then turn into mini tart pans, preferably with removable bottoms (for a dressier look). Trim the edges and chill the tart pans in the freezer for 30 minutes and wrapped well for up to one month. You may have a bit of dough leftover - save it in the freezer to patch future crusts.
- In a food processor, pulse together almond paste which has been cut into small hunks with the sugar, flour, and butter (if using) until the mixture is smooth. In a small bowl beat the egg with a fork and add the Kirsch (if using), vanilla and almond extracts. Add to the food processor and pulse until the egg mixture is fully blended into the mixture. Scoop the frangipane into a bowl, getting every last bit.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the stems from the figs. Slice the figs in half and then slice tiny, even wedges (like an orange). Scoop 65 grams or ¼ cup frangipane into each chilled tart shell and spread to the edges in an even layer. Top each tart with fig wedges in an interesting pattern using 1 to 2 figs per tart. Make sure the skin side is down and the wedge side is up.
- Place the filled tarts on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake 40-50 minutes or until the crusts are a deep golden brown and the figs are bubbling and almost look melted. The frangipane should be golden brown and puffy. Cool tarts in the pan for 20 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Can be made one day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature and then gently heat in a 300°F for ten minutes before brushing with honey and serving.
- Heat honey in the microwave for 10 seconds. Very gently brush onto tarts right before serving – it will make them look dressy and shiny and adds the perfect flavor to your holiday dessert.